New results data has this week revealed that Truro School students Zoe Mitchell and Alex Jones achieved the top mark in the country for GCSE Geology. And there were five in the top six, namely Zoe Mitchell, Alex Jones, Lloyd Stein, Finn Walker and Alice Bebb.
At A Level, Amy Ellis was fourth in the country for Geology, having achieved full marks in two of the three modules. Eight students have gone on to study Geology at notable universities, including one at Oxford.
Asked how he felt when he found out the great news, Finn Walker said: “I was really surprised more than anything. The first thing I did was call my Grandad to tell him; he’s a Geologist so he was quite happy with me to say the least.“
Benefitting from Cornwall’s rich geological features
The new A-level and GCSE specifications place more emphasis on the completion of field activities as part of the students’ practical endorsement. Truro School has the benefit of being located in an area with diverse geology.
Justine Hope, head of Geology, said: “We are so fortunate that within such a short distance the students can see many of the structures that they need for their GCSE and A-Level courses. Being able to see what they are studying in class out in the field is such an amazing opportunity.”
Over 50 years of shared teaching experience
The School has over 50 years of shared teaching experience in the department. Justine Hope has taught both GCSE and A-Level Geology for 15 years whilst distinguished fellow teacher, Ian Kenyon, has taught for 37 years and contributed to the School’s specimen collection for a number of years. These museum standard samples aid the teaching of the geology specification and are a great attribute to Truro School.
Finn Walker commented on the support he received: “They were very useful, always very helpful and friendly. Because we only had three Geology teachers, it was a very personal learning experience. We often had one-to-one help with things; they gave us fantastic guidance.“
A focus on employability
The Geology department places emphasis on the employability of its students, in particular the breadth of their skillset. Justine Hope said: “It is a descriptive science where students are having to problem solve and write reports; there are many different opportunities for those that study Geology.”
Hope is looking to strengthen the department’s credibility by making contacts with well-regarded universities and changing its approach to fieldwork, developing a rolling trip programme of Spain, Portugal and Iceland.